On The Boards / Merit
Arlo Braun wanted to design a community that integrated types and prices of homes on a "finer grain" than most planned developments. Belle Creek's apartments, town houses, and single-family homes appear to be mixed at random, but Braun located each unit carefully for variety and quality. "We think the idea of community is really a mixture of people at different stages in their lives," says Braun. "But we had to do this without adversely affecting those who were investing in the higher-end single-family homes."
Older neighborhoods are quite popular in Denver, so Braun referred to them for his pattern book, focusing especially on homes from the 1920s. Because Denver borrowed and blended indigenous styles from both coasts and the Midwest, Braun was able to vary Belle Creek's facades while staying true to local vernacular. "We photographed and studied these neighborhoods," says Braun, "so we could incorporate their detail and craftsmanship into our designs." The judges admired the community's sense of context.
Braun paired traditional facades with contemporary interiors. Floor plans will emphasize indoor/outdoor relationships and borrow views from open public spaces. "It's been interesting," he says, "because to do this we designed the houses from the outside in. It was a back-and-forth process that was harder, but worth it."